While the official film rules for the 2020 edition of the SAG Awards will not be revealed until June, an email sent to studios this week points to the organization following the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ temporary eligibility amendments for the Oscars.

‘We are still revising our film release criteria but will be following the Academy’s rule change to allow titles with a planned theatrical release to be eligible if streamed or released on VOD first’, the email said, according to Variety. ‘Full language will be announced in June along with the rest of our rules.’


On 28th April, the Academy announced that their board of governors had approved a temporary hold on the prerequisite that a film would need a 7-day theatrical run in a cinema in Los Angeles County in order to qualify for the Oscars.

With this change, however, films will be permitted a digital release without the prior necessity of a movie theatre screening. There is still a hitch, though—the streamed film must have already had a planned theatrical release to be eligible for Academy Awards consideration. The film must also be uploaded on the Academy Screening Room members-only streaming platform within 60 days of its streaming or VOD release.

New FYC guidelines and fee structures for film for the SAG Awards were also sent to the studios this week. The one-page memo states: ‘The SAG Awards Nominating Committee will be finalized in early July. In light of the pandemic, in-person events are suspended until further notice. As we move to primarily virtual events and digital screeners (though limited mailings are still permitted) we have developed new rules — and a new fee structure — around FYC campaigns geared towards our members.’

‘The pandemic is an evolving situation and as things change, we will evolve with it and keep you informed on any updates to our guidelines and rules through the summer and fall’, the memo continues.

Previously, studios have also had to provide DVDs of eligible movies to nominating committee members. According to the new rules, digital screeners are now permitted during the pre-nom voting phase. All digital screening platforms and streaming sites must be approved by the SAG Awards.’